Innovative, new cancer drugs set for approval this year
The vfa, Germany's association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, has announced that at least thirty new medications are expected to become available to patients this year. The vfa says that many of the drugs – with new effective ingredients – are for different types of cancers. Other products are for treating bacterial infections and rare diseases as well as regulation of blood clotting.
The vfa reports that about a third of the new medicines will improve treatment options for cancer patients. The drugs are for treating certain types of leukemia and lymphatic, breast, ovarian and skin cancers. Many of them, says the vfa, act directly on cancer cells to stop their multiplication and spread. Some of the drugs do this by delivering radioactive atoms or toxins to the tumor cells. Others are based on immuno-therapy, and involve genetically "equipping" patients' immune cells to attack and destroy the cancer.
At the time of the announcement, vfa Director General Birgit Fischer said, "More than half of the research-based pharmaceuticals companies are working on new cancer drugs. Demand for further improvements is high. Almost every second person in Germany will suffer from some type of cancer in their lifetimes and cancer is the second leading cause of death. Nevertheless, the immense growth in knowledge about the development and course of different types of cancers has allowed researchers to develop therapies that are tailor-made for each individual patient."
According to the vfa, three of the new products are for treating bacterial infections. Two are new antibiotics that are effective against multi-resistant strains of bacteria. The third drug neutralizes toxins associated with Clostridium difficile.